Fenton High bus driver shortage

Riann Masi, Writer

Because of COVID-19, schools around the country have had to hire more people to help clean classrooms and bathrooms, but schools are having trouble hiring bus drivers. Fenton schools have had a challenge with this for some time now. 

Not only do students need the ride to and from school, but sports such as football and cross country need a bus or two to get to their away competitions. With this shortage of bus drivers, these athletes are made to leave their last hours of school earlier so their bus can get back to drive students home. 

“As an athlete, it is very difficult to get to our competitions with the school lacking in bus drivers,” junior Abby Logan said. “This past week when I attended the sportsmanship summit I had to take the Lake Fenton school bus back to the school.” 

On average a bus driver’s annual salary is between $20,000- $50,000 as reported by ZipRecruiter. In the state of Michigan, the shortage of bus drivers is so bad, districts such as Mona Shores Public Schools announced that they are offering a $2,500 bonus for any of the district’s new bus drivers. 

“With having a limited staff, anyone who applies to become a driver is hired right away as a sub,”  Fenton bus driver Katrina Kirby said. “You get your own bus and route, but with limited drivers it’s a lot more work for those drivers who are working. At the moment we don’t have a lot of subs so we have to pull people out of their primary jobs.” 

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has had an effect on jobs, the bus driver shortage has been going on for years. Schools are looking for custodial services, substitute teachers, kitchen staff and hall aides as well as bus drivers.